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HOMELESSNESS POLICY Nick Falvo Carleton University 2013 ONPHA Conference and Trade Show Session: 308 A critical review of the federal and provincial record.

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Presentation on theme: "HOMELESSNESS POLICY Nick Falvo Carleton University 2013 ONPHA Conference and Trade Show Session: 308 A critical review of the federal and provincial record."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOMELESSNESS POLICY Nick Falvo Carleton University 2013 ONPHA Conference and Trade Show Session: 308 A critical review of the federal and provincial record in housing October 18, 2013

2 Overview Background Housing First Changes Post-2006 Emerging Themes Summary Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 2

3 Background Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 3

4 National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) Established in 1999, along with a Homelessness Secretariat within HRSDC (which is nowESDC). Initially, a 3-year, $753M initiative. It has since been renewed multiple times Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 4

5 Expansion of Services : homeless services across Ontario, in part due to Golden Task Force, in part due to SCPI. Rent bank, eviction prevention programs, more housing of workers in shelters Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 5

6 Expansion of Services (contd) Increase in number of all-day shelters and the revamping of Seaton House : Ontario govt d supportive housing units. # of supportive housing units in Toronto d from 2,400 to 4,200. A substantial proportion of NHI funds were used for long term transitional housing. Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 6

7 Housing First The principle of providing a homeless person with permanent housing has been embraced and promoted by activists (especially persons on the left) at least since homelessness became a pressing public policy issue in the 1980s. But Housing First (as a term) started to enter into the mainstream lexicon with New York Citys Pathways program in the 1990s. And it got cool in Canada with the advent of Torontos Streets to Homes program, which began in Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 7

8 Housing First (contd) ESDC (specifically, the HPS program) has embraced it. But that does not mean that ESDC (or any ministry or dept. at any level of government in Canada) has committed to acting with the scale necessary (i.e. with a sufficient amount of resources) to eliminate homelessness at any point in the future. Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 8

9 The Harper Years Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18 9

10 The Harper Years (contd) The prime minister is a complicated man. He is at heart deeply ideological, a Margaret Thatcher conservative who believes firmly in the primacy of markets. However, on broad issues, Harper has been willing to demonstrate a surprising streak of flexibility. Tom Walkom, Toronto Star 10 Session 308: Friday, Oct. 18

11 The Harper Years (contd) In Dec. 06, the Harper government brought in the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). This replaced the NHI, but retained many of its key features. NHIs focus had been emergency responses to homelessness. But, since Harper, HPS has had more of a Housing First focus. HPS: $135M/yr. (representing a slight reduction) Sep 08: HPS extended through to Mar 11. Session 308: Friday, Oct

12 Federal Budget 2013 Unexpected renewal and extension of HPS through to 2019 Even more emphasis on Housing First HPS is now $119M/yr Session 308: Friday, Oct

13 Aboriginal Peoples Session 308: Friday, Oct

14 Aboriginal Persons as a %age of Homeless Population Toronto26% Calgary16% Edmonton38% Vancouver32% Session 308: Friday, Oct

15 NHI (now called the HPS) The NHI included $59 M in targeted funding for an Urban Aboriginal Strategy for Homelessness Initially with SCPI, there was no requirement for participating cities to work with the Aboriginal communities in developing community plans and funding priorities. Learning to compete with large, well-staffed, and highly professional non-Aboriginal service providers at a municipal level and through the competitive Request for Proposal mechanism was often a frustrating and discouraging exercise. Session 308: Friday, Oct

16 Aboriginal Component of HPS There is now an Aboriginal Component of the HPS that represents approximately 11% of its annual budget. Many Canadian cities (including Toronto and Vancouver) now have two CABs devoted towards ending homelessnessa mainstream CAB and an Aboriginal CAB. Session 308: Friday, Oct

17 Scale HPS today: $119M/yr. # of unique individuals: 147,000 Annual support per unique individual: $800 This translates into <$70/month for every unique individual who experiences homelessness across Canada in a given year. Session 308: Friday, Oct

18 Recent Ontario Developments Session 308: Friday, Oct

19 CHPI Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) Combines funding from 5 homelessness programs. To be administered by Ontarios Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Implementation date: January 1, 2013 Session 308: Friday, Oct

20 CHPI (contd) CHPI replaces these five programs: 1. Consolidated Homelessness Prevention Program (MCSS) 2. Emergency Energy Fund (MCSS) 3. Emergency Hostel Services (MCSS) 4. Domiciliary Hostel Program (MCSS) 5. Provincial Rent bank (MMAH) Session 308: Friday, Oct

21 CHPI (contd) Annual cost of CHPI: $246M To be funded 100% by provincial government The CHPI program provides each of the 47 Service Managers in Ontario with a funding envelope. No matching funding required by municipal governments (even though matching funding had previously been required for both Domiciliary Hostels and Emergency Hostel Services). Session 308: Friday, Oct

22 CHPI (contd) Such a consolidation was an outcome of the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review. CHPI ostensibly gives municipalities more flexibility in designing services to homeless persons. Session 308: Friday, Oct

23 CHPI (contd) CHPI includes an amount equivalent to 50% (i.e. $63M) of what the provincial government had previously been contributing to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB), which was eliminated in the 2012 provincial budget (effective January 1, 2013). Previously CSUMB had been part of the OW and ODSP programs, helping clients with the costs of a establishing a new principal residence, preventing eviction or dicontinuance of utilities, or maintaining a new residence… Session 308: Friday, Oct

24 CHPI (contd) Service Managers are allowed to use CHPI funding for the following: Emergency Shelter Solutions Housing With Related Supports Other Services and Supports Homelessness Prevention Note: Service Managers are not required to fund activities under all four categories… Session 308: Friday, Oct

25 CHPI (contd) All services and activities that were eligible to receive funding under the previous five homelessness-related programs being consolidated are eligible under the CHPI. CHPI will not fund capital expenditures. That is: no new construction; no conversions; no repairs; no renovations; no retrofits; no purchases of existing buildings; no buying of land. Session 308: Friday, Oct

26 CHPI: Stacking Session 308: Friday, Oct

27 CHPI: 3-Year Plans Beginning in Year 3 of the CHPI (i.e. 2015/16), Service Managers will receive notice of their planning allocations for the following three years. Based on these planning allocations, SMs will be expected to develop a three-year Investment Plan outlining how their annual allocations will be used in subsequent years (after March 31, 2016). The plans should align each respective Service Managers local Housing and Homelessness Plan. Session 308: Friday, Oct

28 CHPI (contd) The CHPI claims to embrace the Housing First approach (while also funding transitional housing). But, like the HPS, it does not commit to meeting the scale of the problem. Like the federal government, the Ontario government is saying: We believe that homeless persons should have housing; but we are not going to provide every homeless person with housing. Session 308: Friday, Oct

29 Ontario First Nations Policy and funding responsibility for First Nations for the Emergency Energy Fund, Emergency Hostel Services and the Community-Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit will remain with MCSS. Session 308: Friday, Oct

30 Net Reduction in Funding [CHPI] provides greater flexibility…However, the City will receive less provincial funding for homeless prevention services as a result of the elimination of the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) in the 2012 provincial budget. Deputy City Manager City of Toronto Session 308: Friday, Oct

31 New Risks for Municipalities The CHPI also changes the funding model for emergency shelters from an open-ended, demand-based model to a capped funding envelope, which presents new financial risks to the City. Deputy City Manager City of Toronto Session 308: Friday, Oct

32 New Risks (contd) If there are sudden increases in demand due to serious economic downturns, increased numbers of refugees or emergencies like the fire at 200 Wellesley St, the Province will no longer provide additional funding for increased shelter beds to accommodate the demand. Deputy City Manager City of Toronto Session 308: Friday, Oct

33 Lack of Coordination on Supp. Housing Provincially-funded supportive housing is administered through the LHIN network. Meanwhile, Service Managers are developing 10-year plans to address homelessness. Should the role/coordination of supportive housing as a policy response to homelessness be left as a matter for the 47 Service Managers and 14 LHINs to work out? Flexibility sure sounds nice, but how ad hoc should supportive housing really be across Ontario? Session 308: Friday, Oct

34 Five Emerging Themes Session 308: Friday, Oct

35 1. Crowded Shelters Session 308: Friday, Oct

36 Session 308: Friday, Oct

37 Session 308: Friday, Oct

38 Permanent Shelter Beds (Toronto) Session 308: Friday, Oct

39 More Emergency Beds? The Province has indicated that enhanced funding will not be likely in the future if municipalities subsequently open any new emergency and transitional housing initiatives. - Adelina Urbanski Commissioner of Community and Health Services, York Region Session 308: Friday, Oct

40 2. Homeless Seniors Session 308: Friday, Oct

41 Canadas Population, 1978 and 2038 Session 308: Friday, Oct

42 Homeless Seniors: Canada Session 308: Friday, Oct

43 Homeless Seniors: Toronto Session 308: Friday, Oct

44 3. HPS Erosion Session 308: Friday, Oct

45 Erosion by Stealth Annual Value of NHI in 1999 (in 2013 dollars) Current Annual Value of HPS (in 2013 dollars) $331M$119M Ergo: HPS current annual value, adjusting for inflation, is a mere 36% of the NHIs original value. Session 308: Friday, Oct

46 4. Results of AHCS Study Session 308: Friday, Oct

47 At Home/Chez Soi (AHCS) Study Session 308: Friday, Oct

48 Summary Prior to the 1980s, the homeless in Canada were generally not eligible for social housing. This started to change in the mid-1980s, especially in Toronto. Likewise, it has become more common to talk about Housing First in Canada beginning in Session 308: Friday, Oct

49 Summary (contd) I personally dont believe that the Housing First approach itself is new. Rather, I think the branding is new. There is, in effect, an aspect of marketing occuring here. And remember: there is an important difference between funding Housing First for some individuals in need versus funding Housing First for all individuals in need. Ergo:Housing First, but not necessarily housing. Session 308: Friday, Oct

50 Summary (contd) Ontarios latest shift in homelessness programming appears to have been inspired by federal programming. Indeed, similarities between HPS and CHPI are quite evident. That said, CHPI says very little about Aboriginal peoples and/or First Nations. The Nov. 12 Program Guidelines (a 40-page document) has just one sentence devoted to either group: Funding and policy responsibility for First Nations on-reserve for the Emergency Energy Fund and Emergency Hostel Services will continue to be administered by MCSS (p. 1). Session 308: Friday, Oct

51 Thank You Nick Falvo PhD Candidate (Public Policy) Carleton University Session 308: Friday, Oct

52 Appendix 1: Unheard Voices A video clip that many City of Toronto officials (and many proponents of Housing First) would prefer you never see… aspx Unheard Voices, 2011 To see the clip in question, watch from 39:40 to 44:15 Session 308: Friday, Oct

53 Appendix 2: Funding Pool for CHPI Session 308: Friday, Oct

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